HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure
HTS Overall Score:66
“Alpha and Omega” was a low grade Animated film that wasn’t too horribly done, amidst much better animated films saturating the market. It was decent popcorn fare though, and I have nothing against it, as it’s certainly entertaining enough for the kids, if not the adults at times. The animation was a bit weak compared to other recent outings for animated fans, but it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. Now the studio has gone back and done a straight to DVD TV movie sequel in the form of “Alpha and Omega 2: A Howliday Adventure”. I was hoping for a cheap kiddy movie that would get the job done, but I was ill prepared for this lazy and uninspiring story that is really just a cheap babysitter for people under the age of 5.
Kate and Humphrey are preparing to celebrate their first holiday together as a family, with their 3 cubs, Stinky, Claudette and Runt. Humphrey is still a goofy “omega” (aka not exactly best of the best) and their cubs have a little bit of their parents in them too. With Runt captured by a group of renegade wolves, consisting of nothing but militant Alphas, the pack has to band together and find bring back their little cub.
This alpha pack is ruled by a domineering king who has one thing in mind, the destruction of Humphrey and Kate’s pack, and will do anything to do so. After he’s captured Runt, King uses this as leverage to lure the other packs in to his territory so that he can wipe out his competition once and for all. What he doesn’t expect is a very determined pack with lots of heart, a couple of ducks and even a cadre of hungry bears to mess up his plans for the winter.
With a 45 minute run time and not a lot of meat on the bones, it’s kind of hard to really have a deep, meaningful discussion on the film, but there are a few points worth noting. The original “Alpha and Omega” dealt with the issues of being different, and how just because you’re not an A lister at everything doesn’t mean you’re worthless. This theme is expounded upon with tons of references to motherly instincts, and the banding together of different creatures to protect those you love. Still, with that being said, I felt like the “movie” was a rather cheap tie in off of the already shaky first film. The voice acting is uninspiring and most certainly phone in, and the animation honestly looked about mid 1990’s level as the detail and motion was staggeringly low quality. I really wish it was different, especially considering how much I love animated films, but there’s no way to slice this sandwich any differently.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=29313[/img]The transfer for “Alpha and Omega 2: A Howliday Adventure” is actually quite decent, but it’s marred by rather horrendous animation that just doesn’t lend itself for a lot of clarity or detail. The colors are bright and clean, the black levels are decent, and I can’t really detect much more than a hint of banding, as 45 minutes of actual time on the disc don’t take up a whole lot of space. What really sticks out like a sore thumb is the 90’s era level of animation with almost no detail and lack of sharpness. The backgrounds are livable, but once anything movies it’s a whole different wince worthy ball game.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=29321[/img]Much like everything else in the film, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is quite passable and rather pleasing at times. The surrounds light up appropriately when the music is playing and there’s even some decent additions in the form of growls and rustling tree branches in the forest. The dialogue is above reproach, as it’s replicated faithfully and with no apparent distortions or skimping given the VERY limited budget this thing must have had. LFE is there when needed, adding a nice little punch in to the rescue scene near the end and adding some low end power to the Bear roars. Pleasing, does the job well, and is probably the highlight of the film.
• A Wolf's Tale: The Making of Alpha and "Omega 2"
• Personality Test - Are You An Alpha or Omega?
• Wolf Fun Facts Trivia
• Following the Pack: A Sneak Peek at the Upcoming Alpha and Omega Adventures
“Alpha and Omega 2: A Howliday Adventure” is pretty much a cheap tie in to an already cheap feature film. Even young kids won’t really get much out of the ham fisted storyline unless they’re under the age of 5, as pretty colors is about all it’s got going for it. The animation is horrendously cheap, the story is tied together with shoe string and the 45 minute run time feels like 2 hours. If you’ve got toddlers it may be passable, but there’s plenty of other good animated films out there to risk wasting money on this. I’d have to say skip it.
Starring: Ben Diskin, Kate Higgins, Lindsay Torrance
Directed By: Dominique Monfrey, Richard Rich
Written By: Steve Moore, Tom Kane
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 44 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 7th 2014
Buy Alpha and Omega 2: A howli-day Adventure Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
More about Mike